This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.
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"The problem MLB faces is that the longer it plays, the more it exposes itself to the virus and Covid-19. That risk, however it may be mitigated by the sunlight and heat of a summer, is expected to rise again in the fall and winter. The deeper into the calendar MLB pushes its playoffs, the more it risks having those playoffs never happen. The worst-case scenario for MLB isn’t not having a season; the worst-case scenario is playing a regular season and not getting to have the playoffs. The playoffs are where the money is, perhaps even more so if the shortened season leads to an expanded playoff format. The entire reason MLB and team owners want to have a season is to ensure the postseason TV revenues. ESPN and Fox and TBS air regular-season baseball as much out of obligation as anything else; what they pay for is playoff games."